first_imgThe state of Vermont is calliing into question a national review of state business development tax incentives. Vermont, according to a report released Wednesday by the Pew Center on the States, is one of several states that is not looking hard enough at the results of tax incentives used for economic development. Vermont is among half the states “trailing behind” in its review of these incentive policies. However, that study did not include Vermont’s principal incentive program.The Vermont Agency of Commerce issued a statement Friday saying that while it appreciates the work done by the Pew Center for the States, including their recently released report, â Evidence Counts,’an evaluation of State tax incentives for jobs and growth, it is missing a key element in its evaluation of Vermont. The Pew report did not include Vermontâ s current and active business incentive program, the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive (VEGI) program. According to Josh Goodman of the Pew Center on the States, â While [the Center] was intrigued by the design of VEGI (and, in particular, your approach to “but for”), we concluded that VEGI is a cash incentive, rather than a tax incentive–it does not reduce companies’ tax liabilities. Therefore, we didn’t include the VEGI evaluation in our rating for Vermont.’ Pew cited the Vermont Economic Advancement Tax Incentive program, which ran through 2006. SEE APPENDIX D for all sources used by Pew.The Pew rating in the report does not include the many evaluations that have been done by the State of Vermont and others of the VEGI program because the program did not fit the profile of the programs Pew was evaluating, according to the Vermont statement sent by Deputy Secretary Pat Moulton Powden. Therefore, the Agency determined, it is incorrect to assign their rating to the current business incentive program. In fact, VEGI  is one of the most studied state programs in existence, undergoing an audit every other year, several studies by Legislative committees, and most recently, a comprehensive evaluation by the Secretary of Commerce. The program was also recently rated among the top incentive programs in the country by Good Jobs First, a Washington, DC-based national policy resource center for grassroots groups and public officials, promoting corporate and government accountability in economic development.The Pew report said policy makers across the country spend billions of dollars annually on tax incentives for economic development. But no state ensures that policy makers rely on good evidence about whether these investments deliver a strong return, the Pew study concludes. Often, states that have conducted rigorous evaluations of some incentives virtually ignore others or assess them infrequently. Other states regularly examine these investments, but not thoroughly enough. The Pew study did not say exactly what incentives it did look at if it was not looking at the VEGI program.Pew said the use of these investments appears to have grown substantially. Today, every state has at least one tax incentive program, and most have at least several. Tax incentives are policy choices with significant implications, especially at a time when most states are trying to rebuild their budgets and many have not regained the private-sector jobs lost during the Great Recession. If states do not base decisions on evidence, they could have less money to spend on other critical services. By not using effective incentives, states could miss opportunities to create jobs and support businesses.A report by the Pew Center on the States concludes that 13 states are leading the way in generating much-needed answers about tax incentives’effectiveness. Twelve states have mixed results. Half the states have not taken the basic steps needed to know whether their incentives are effective. The study highlights a wealth of promising approaches states have taken to help lawmakers find those answers.   Report AssetsPress Release  Executive SummaryFull ReportSource DocumentsState Documents Reviewed for This ReportPEW April 12, 2012last_img read more

first_imgThe Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) is calling on governments to exercise “robust” enforcement of sulphur limits applicable to ships operating in Emission Control Areas in order to ensure that the industry is operating at a high level of compliance.Following discussion at the Council’s recent board meeting, BIMCO President John Denholm described this position as crucial to maintaining a level playing field for shipping companies operating in Emission Control Areas (ECAs) and ensuring that compliant companies were not left at a disadvantage.“The maritime industry will shortly experience an unprecedented rise in operating costs as countries bordering ECAs implement very low limits for sulphur content in the fuel oils used by ships,” Denholm said calling the governments of these countries to exercise robust enforcement of applicable sulphur limits. “Failure to do so would seriously expose compliant shipowners and operators who are bearing the high cost of ultra-low sulphur diesel oil,” he added.Press Releaselast_img read more

first_imgHiring and retaining talented lawyers and identifying the next generation of partners are the key priorities of law firms in 2016, according to a bi-annual market bellwether.Merger activity continues to decline, meanwhile, in what is generally a buoyant commercial environment.The survey, the latest in a series by the Law Consultancy Network, found that almost half of firms consider recruitment and retention to be one of their top three priorities this year. Succession planning ranked second and profitability third.By contrast, merger activity remains sluggish, reflecting a steady decline since the 2011 peak when over 80% of firms said they had considered a merger in recent months. That figure fell below 60% in the second half of 2015, the second-lowest percentage since the survey began six years ago.  The survey was undertaken by consultant Andrew Otterburn (pictured), who commented: ‘The issues of attracting and retaining talent, and succession planning are closely linked and are currently a major issue for many firms. ‘It is not so much the retirement of existing partners that is the issue, although that can be complicated, especially the repayment of capital, but identifying their successors. These issues are also closely related to profitability and overall strategic planning.’last_img read more

first_imgCaster Semenya will not need to take testosterone-reducing medication to compete after a Swiss court temporarily suspended a new IAAF ruling.The Olympic 800m champion last month lost her challenge to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the implementation of a restriction on testosterone levels in female runners.The ruling would have affected women competing from 400m to the mile.“I hope following my appeal I will once again be able to run free,” she said.“I am thankful to the Swiss judges for this decision.”Following the decision by CAS, the South African took her appeal to the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland, citing the need to defend “fundamental human rights”.Her legal representative Dr Dorothee Schramm said: “The court has granted welcome temporary protection to Caster Semenya.“This is an important case that will have fundamental implications for the human rights of female athletes.”In its initial judgement, CAS found that the new rules proposed by the IAAF – athletics’ world governing body – for athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD) were discriminatory, but concluded that the discrimination was “necessary, reasonable and proportionate” to protect “the integrity of female athletics”.Relatedlast_img read more